Yoga’s history can be traced back at least 5,000 years with the sage Patanjali, considered the father of yoga. Although “namaste” has become an easy New Age-y punchline, the practice designed to rejuvenate the body and spirit has undergone a renaissance of popularity among old and young who swear by its mentally calming and physically flexible benefits.Whether you’re looking for gentle Hatha yoga, challenging Bikram or the chanting, more meditative Kundalini, mat masters at these Chicago area studios have all the right poses.
(Photo Credit: yogaview's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: yogaview’s Facebook)


Yogaview
2211 N. Elston Ave., Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 342-9642
www.yogaview.com

Anyone with a newly minted yoga certification can guide you through Sun Salutations, but at Yogaview the physical aspects of the practice are deeply connected with the spiritua, making it shine among the thousands of studios in the city and suburbs. The “yogaview,” as it were, “gives birth to compassion, understanding and a profound ongoing curiosity into the nature of life.” You probably won’t that at the strip mall studio. Offering around dozen different levels of classes, from prenatal and teen to restorative and Yin, Yogaview’s Chicago and Wilmette studios are helmed by extremely experienced instructors.

Moksha Yoga Center
700 N. Carpenter St.
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 942-9642
www.mokshayoga.com

Many are drawn to the non-competitive environment that yoga provides and the three Moksha studios focus on guiding new and experienced practitioners on their individual paths to a healthier body and mind. There are basic and intensive classes as well as bodywork opportunities like acupuncture and Thai massage to get you to feeling great. There are often special offers of discounts on classes, workshops, special events and even concerts.

(Photo Credit: Ganesha Yoga and Adventures in Fitness's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Ganesha Yoga and Adventures in Fitness’s Facebook)


Ganesha Yoga And Adventures In Fitness
3113 N. Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 904-7870
www.ganeshayogachicago.com

If you’re okay with your chakras being a bit out of whack and just want to get in shape, Ganesha Yoga and Adventures in Fitness is your ashram for agility. Yoga (and dance, movement, pilates and even hula hooping) is all about feeling good and getting fit. Classes are not assigned “levels,” but are given fairly clear titles. There’s Gentle Chair Yoga, Ganesha Rx for your aches and pains, Mellow Flow, Stiff Guy and Ganesha Plus for any body shape.

Related:  Five Surprising Mental Benefits Of Exercise

Ahimsa Yoga Studio
441 South Blvd. 
Oak Park, IL 60304
(708) 524-4593
ahimsaoakparkyoga.com

A father-daughter team, Chuck and Kelly Merydith, came to yoga for different reasons (stress relief, self-realization and surviving cancer chief among them) and have extensive training/certifications from YogaWorks in Santa Monica as well as Chicago’s Moksha Yoga. Classes range from beginners to deep stretching and restorative yoga amid candlelight. Or perhaps you prefer some Vinyasa Flow to classic rock or Seva yoga accompanied by live music? There are a plethora of opportunities for children, and Ahimsa has a work/study program for students who can man a desk in exchange for free yoga classes.

Yoga Seva
407 E. Terra Cotta Ave.
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
(815) 355-0010
www.yogaseva.com

A literal pain in the neck and 26 years as a flight attendant brought Ann Waring to yoga practice which not only eliminated that pain but changed the trajectory of her life. The business owner, certified yoga instructor and Primordial Sound Meditation Teacher has added study at the Chopra Center in San Diego in order to offer students more than a physical experience from the vast Vedic knowledge from which Hatha yoga stems. This elevates Yoga Seva above the vast number of centers dotting strip malls everywhere, and makes the trip worth your while. Classes are held seven days a week from gentle and beginning to multi-level, and Yoga Seva must be satisfying because there is a community of students who have been attending since 1998, proving the studio has been way ahead of the curve and doing backbends around most others.

Related: Best Fitness Classes In Chicago

Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.